Myriam Dhez

Personal assistant to the director of life sciences

There were only a dozen people working at the ESRF when I was hired as secretary of the Experiments Division, back in 1986. The convention for the creation of the ESRF would be signed two years later, and there were only three scientists in my division. We were mostly young and single. We organised many activities as a group at the weekend and the entire company ate together at lunchtime. Technology has changed my landscape and working conditions in a huge way since the first mini-Macintoshes, telex machines and paper memos for internal communication. The ESRF has given me the opportunity to see the world: I organised conferences in foreign countries and went on exchanges in several labs and had the chance to be able to discover different cultures and ways of working. It has also given me access to training throughout my career, which has been really important since I arrived here straight after finishing my studies. At the ESRF, curiosity is a positive thing. Working in a scientific environment and with curious people means that you are constantly being pulled towards new things and steered into learning new skills.

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